Move over, Fab Five, there's a new crew of fashionistas in town. Beginning tonight at 10/ET, the Flab Four of Comedy Central's Straight Plan for the Gay Man will help a few lucky gay men discover their inner straight dude. TV Guide Online spoke with two of these heterosexual experts, Billy Merritt and Curtis Gwinn, to get their take on fashion, interior design and their competition.
TV Guide Online: Billy, you're credited as the "Appearance Guy" on the show, and Curtis, you're the "Environment Guy." So what makes you experts in your respective fields?
Billy: I like to consider myself the Minister of Style, like a defense minister. I'm all about fashion, and since doing this I have become more fashion conscious.
Curtis: Except for today, right?
Billy: What's wrong with today, man? Look, this tie matches this shirt! If I can get my tie to match my shirt and my belt, I win. Basically, my style is: Does it fit? If I can get my clothes on, I've won that day. And when I don't win, I stay home.
Curtis: I'm definitely equipped to let people know how the disgusting straight guy lives, because I practice what I preach. If you go on Friendster and look me up, there are about five or 10 people who'll tell you that I have the most disgusting, despicable bachelor pad in existence. Low-grade porn could be shot in my apartment.
TVGO: Had you seen Queer Eye before doing this show?
Curtis: I had casually seen it before, but I made sure to watch two or three episodes right before we did our show to get a feel for it. And I think it's a really funny show.
Billy: I had seen it several times before this came up. I actually have two friends who were on it. I've always liked the idea of it and always thought that somebody should do a parody. And I'm glad somebody did so I could latch onto it. I didn't want to do all the work.
TVGO: Which member of the Fab Five do you aspire to be?
Billy: I want to be Ted Allen, the cuisine guy. I think he's great. Plus, I like eating food, talking about food, cooking food, dieting from food. And I am bookish. I read a book last night.
Curtis: I've got straight-man jealousy of Kyan Douglas, the one who handles the appearance. He's a good-looking, funny guy. I could be one of those guys.
Billy: You'll never be him, Curtis.
Curtis: No, I'm going to try. I'm going to lose some weight, get some nice clothes and start waxing. I'm going to do this, Billy! This is the month where I finally turn myself around.
Billy: Yeah, I've heard this speech before.
Curtis: I want to hit the town with Kyan because I feel like he'd attract a ton of women. And then I'd be in the position to pick them up. Maybe I'll have my people call his people and we can start hanging out professionally.
Billy: You've got people?
Curtis: [Pause] No.
Billy: My people are little green army men.
TVGO: Is there anyone you're hoping to impress by appearing on this show?
Billy: Living females — that would be nice.
Curtis: I think you picked the wrong show for that, man.
Billy: Yeah, that probably won't work out. It would be nice to go to a meatpacking plant or a construction site and for those guys to go, "Hey, all right" and give us little fist bumps. I'd be like, "We did this for you, my man!"
Curtis: I was overthinking the question. I was thinking like Osama bin Ladin. He'd be going: "I am impressed by these men! I've been so wrong — America is good. Look at this show."
Billy: I hear Queer Eye is doing Osama's cave next...
TVGO: So now that Bravo will probably be suing the pants off you, do you have any high-paying gigs to fall back on?
Curtis: I'm in an improv troupe that performs at the Upright Citizen's Brigade theater. I'm also a screenwriter and I've got a couple of scripts in development. One of them is Pirates of the Caribbean 3. Two is already written, so I'm banking on the third.[Laughs]
Billy: I'm also in a UCB improv troupe called The Swarm. And I'm doing a hidden-camera show on MTV called Boiling Points. Basically, we just annoy people and then, when they get angry, and we give 'em a $100 and leave. It's like Punk'd without any of the class.
TVGO: To end on a deep thought, what do you want viewers to take away from your show?
Curtis: That there is no shame in whichever side of the fence you walk on. There are funny things to be had on both sides. Where Queer Eye has fun with gay stereotypes, this does the same thing with straight men. Straight men are starting to have more of a sense of humor and can loosen up and allow themselves to be made fun of. I think this show makes fun of the straight male lifestyle much more than it attacks the gay lifestyle.
Billy: I consider this show a handshake between the gay culture and the straight culture. See, I don't need all the words you need.